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Old 04-11-2011, 03:16 PM   #1
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About old paint

I moved in to my house back in '99, and when I moved in, there was quite a bit of paint cans in the garage. Well, I am now rebuilding my garage, and I am getting rid of these old cans of paint. Here's the question. I have 2-5 gal paint buckets that are S/W, interior flat white latex paint. These have never been opened. Here's the question. I am also going to be doing some painting inside, and I need to buy me some white paint. What are the chances of this paint (un-opened) in my garage still being good? The paint containers are made of plastic, so I know that there can not be any rust issue. Is there any way of telling if the paint is still good? I know that it is not all hardened inside because I can hear it when shaken. Of course, since I have not opened it yet, I also have no idea if it can be sturred back to its original form.

I would appreciate any and all opinions on this. I just hate to throw away good paint. Now, if it were behr paint, that would be different.

Thanks guys!


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Old 04-11-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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I've used old paint before that had chunks of rust in it, but I stirred it up well first and poured it though a find mesh bag specifically for filtering paint (got a couple tablespoons of rust pieces out of it).

I would say try to filter it like that. Depends on how many chunks are left in the bag.... like if you loose 1 cup or more of chunks per gallon, then the integrity of the paint is probably changed. But if there only a few bits in the bag, then it's probably OK.


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Old 04-11-2011, 04:12 PM   #3
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yeah, peel the skin off each pail and stir them together into one and it will be fine
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:25 PM   #4
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One big question is has it been frozen. That usually turns latex paint into a "cottage cheese" consistencey, and then is junk.
If it stirs up and looks OK, it probably is.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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everything above plus ..............when all else fails.............SMELL it, bad paint smells like just that .....BAD
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for you answers. As I stated before, these are full "plastic" 5 gal. buckets of paint so no rust, and unopened. As far as freezing goes, we did have a pretty bad winter last year, but compared with the rest of the country, Tampa doesn't usually get that cold. It might have froze last year though. It stayed cold here for weeks.

I'll try the filter method and see how it looks. Of course, when I finally open them and use my drill for the stirring, I should really know for sure. Lets see, about the smell, on water-based paints, it should smell like ammonia, right? Hmmm, I don't believe I would recognize a bad paint smell if it bit me in the .....well......you get the picture. I know, I know, THAT is definately NOT a pretty picture.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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You can usually tell by shaking. You should be able to hear the sloshing go all the way from top to bottom when shaking it upside-down and then back. If you hear the sloshing stay in the same place in the can when you turn it upside-down while shaking, then the the solids and chemicals have settled out of the paint and hardened on the bottom. If there is a skin on it like was mentioned then you can just peel it off.
Latex Primer: Good for Drywall, that's about it.
Behr Paint: The plastic buckets are good, that's about it.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #8
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Sherwin Williams paints will have a batch number on the side of the bucket that is a jullian date. i would have to guess that the shelf life on that paint is probably around 3 years unopened. since you said it was there since 99 i would have to say that it is past its prime but most of the comments on this post are corect also as far as the smell, freezing and straining. i have used old paint with bad paint with all of the symptoms listed above and have not had any problems. if it mixes back together and stays together it will probably be ok. you will want to strain it after you mix it and i would not advise you to use it inside if it has the bad paint smell, it could take months for that smell to leave.


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